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Show Report

Show Report: Christian Dior S/S 15 Womenswear

by Harriet Walker on 27 September 2014

Harriet Walker reports on the Christian Dior S/S 15 womenswear show.

Harriet Walker reports on the Christian Dior S/S 15 womenswear show.

That the Dior show took place in the Louvre's oldest courtyard was only one layer of the palimpsest Raf Simons offered for Spring/Summer 2015 at Dior.

He found inspiration in the past to try and decode the future. In doing so, he has created some of his most beautiful clothes yet.

They hovered between strikingly simple - an eighteenth century nightshirt became a funnel neck shirtdress that buttoned down the back, an haute bourgeois chemise a shift dress for the beach - and fantastically, heart-squeezingly complex. Augustine-era frock coats were deconstructed so as to become gilets, made from neon orange and pink satin and embroidered on their deep pockets with wreaths of flowers, gently pleated so that they bustled at the back. And the currently ubiquitous circle skirt came this time with panniers and the fullness of a farthingales, covered in a pastoral sprig print. They felt like something to wear to the shops but also like something the Marquis De Sade might have encountered.

There's a danger of being precious when one pastiches the past in fashion; there are few able to transcend the costume department. But Simons avoided cliché with the sheer breadth of his idea. Those pieces which looked to be recognised from an ancien regime were paired with nothing more simple than a racer back vest, the greatcoats and leather riding habits with what must surely be the world's most luxurious boardies.

It made for the most fantastic amalgam of fantasy fashion and knowing pragmatism. The lengths and proportion, the embellishments and elegance, will inform the rest of the food chain. And those at the top of it will no doubt buy into the real thing with gusto.

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